Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA graduate student passes all sections of Certified Public Accounting exam

May 17, 2016 - University Marketing Communications
Stephen F. Austin State University graduate student Tiffany Craven, left, is the first student in the Gerald W. Schlief School of Accountancy's Master of Professional Accountancy program to pass all four sections of the Certified Public Accountant licensing exam while still an SFA student. She worked for two years as a graduate assistant for SFA's audit services under the supervision of Gina Oglesbee, SFA's chief audit executive.
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Staring at the computer screen, her pulse quickens, and her nerves jolt with anxious excitement. The countdown has begun, and in a matter of seconds, she will know her results. Three … two … one-numbers appear on the screen, and she's in disbelief-she passed.

Stephen F. Austin State University graduate student Tiffany Craven is the first student in the Gerald W. Schlief School of Accountancy's Master of Professional Accountancy program to pass all four sections of the Certified Public Accountant licensing exam while still an SFA student. The School of Accountancy is housed in SFA's Nelson Rusche College of Business.

"Passing all sections of the CPA exam is a major accomplishment. However, Tiffany passing all sections prior to graduation is phenomenal," said Dr. Treba Marsh, interim director of the School of Accountancy. "Tiffany can begin her professional career with this major goal accomplished. She sets a new standard of excellence for our current and future accounting students."

Craven, a native of Santa Fe, Texas, participated in SFA's five-year accounting program, which awards the Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Professional Accountancy simultaneously. She said waiting a month for her test results was a nerve-wracking experience, but seeing her passing scores made it worthwhile.

"When I saw my results, I really didn't believe it, especially since I wasn't sure about one of the sections," Craven said. "I had to double-check the numbers for my test score."

The Texas State Board of Public Accountancy oversees the CPA exam. The exam is divided into four sections: financial accounting and reporting; regulation; auditing and attestation; and business environment and concepts.

"Tiffany is a rare jewel of a student who will experience great success in life," said Dr. Kelly Noe, assistant professor in the School of Accountancy.

In order to be an exam candidate, one must have completed 150 college hours, including 30 advanced hours in accounting. After passing all exam sections, candidates also must take and pass an exam on the TSBPA rules of professional conduct followed by a TSBPA-approved ethics continuing education course.

Additionally, candidates must have worked under the supervision of a licensed CPA for a period of one year with a 2,000-hour minimum. After all the requirements are met, candidates take the oath of office.

Craven has worked as a graduate assistant for SFA's audit services since August 2014 under the supervision of Gina Oglesbee, SFA's chief audit executive.

"Tiffany has a strong work ethic. She comes to work every day with the intention to add value to our department," Oglesbee said. "Her dedication and diligence is inspirational and evidenced by her passing all parts of the Certified Public Accountant exam as an SFA student."

During her time working with Oglesbee, Craven assisted with and performed compliance, financial, operational and other audits.

"Tiffany was held to the same high standard as other SFA audit staff members for performing work in compliance with auditing standards," Oglesbee said. "She will leave us as a fully trained staff auditor."

Craven already has a job waiting for her as a tax associate with Weaver, an assurance, tax and advisory firm in Houston.